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Bus clash

Minister of Transport and Works John Boyce

Government is pumping millions of dollars more into the Transport Board.

Minister of Transport and Works John Boyce made the announcement today, saying the state-owned agency, which is accessing $10.9 million from Republic Bank Barbados Limited to finance an operating shortfall, pay creditors, and purchase capital equipment.

The plan will include major infrastructural improvements at the Transport Board’s Weymouth headquarters, including facilities for personnel from United Commercial Autoworks Limited.

“We are presently engaged on plans being submitted to the Town Planning Department to first of all develop the quality assurance area, which is the first stop to the engagement of UCAL at the Weymouth facility,” the minister said as he led off debate on resolution asking members of the Lower House to approve Government’s guarantee of the new financing.

“So we are going to be building out a facility which provides cover for those who wash our buses at Weymouth and provides equipment so those buses can be lifted at Weymouth and their tyres inspected and changed,” he added.

The plan also included “building out a larger area” to accommodate expanded offices and UCAL workshop.

This would “allow a much more modern facility to be created, which can handle our buses on the Transport Board side with our quality assurance department”.

Boyce said despite the Transport Board’s financial difficulties, he was happy that its operations were being run in an improved manner.

He said he was also pleased with relations between the board and the Barbados Workers Union.

“Generally speaking, I think we have enjoyed a really commendable performance by the Transport Board and a performance which has been noted by a quiet and a maturity in terms of the relationship between our managers, our supervisors and our workers at the Transport Board and I will continue to go on record as saying that we continue to enjoy a useful working relationship with the Barbados Workers Union and the workers at the Transport Board,” he added. (SC)

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